Monday, August 24, 2009

Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo and Community Leaders, Demand State Legislature to Repair and Repaint J Train Eyesore

Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, along with Senator Joseph Addabbo and Maria Thompson of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation and State Assembly candidate Mike Miller, today demanded the State Legislature approve the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s budget to repaint and rehabilitate the J-train which spans Jamaica Avenue in Queens.

The repainting and the rehabilitation of the J-train overpass should take priority over new MTA projects. Why is the MTA embarking on new capital projects when their existing structures are deteriorating?” questioned Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. “For over twenty-five years, the J-train has been neglected and poorly maintained, impeding on the surrounding community’s safety and economic development.”

Jamaica Avenue is lined with businesses and we believe it is on the cusp of turning into a thriving economic engine for the borough of Queens,” continued Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. “Unfortunately, the most prominent feature on Jamaica Ave is the rusty and deteriorating overhead J-line subway. Because the overpass has been neglected, the steel has corroded, causing structural damage on the stairways used by people everyday. The condition of the elevated train not only deters visitors but is, most importantly, an accident waiting to happen.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority included the rehabilitation of the structure and the repainting of the elevated J-train in their 2005-2009 capital plan. As the MTA concludes the 2005-2009 budget period, the needs of the J-train have yet to be addressed and plans have been pushed back to be included in the 2010-2014 proposed capital plan which is awaiting approval by the State Legislature.

For the last 15 years the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation has been pursuing the painting of the J-line elevator train in the Woodhaven business improvement district from Dexter Court to 100th Street,” said Maria Thompson of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation. “We have been pursuing the MTA and our elected officials to assist us in getting the stations repaired and the elevated train painted because it’s in deplorable conditions.”

While I am pleased the MTA included the J-train community in the new capital plan, we should not have to wait any longer for the renovation to begin. We believe the there is no better time than now. Therefore, we urge you to immediately address the MTA capital plan upon resuming session so that Jamaica Avenue can receive its much needed repainting and rehabilitation,” concluded Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.

Weeks after being sworn in, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley testified before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority urging them to address the safety concerns of the neglected J-train overpass.

Photo Credit: William Alatriste